Comedy and Connections

This interactive keynote combines improv games, stand-up comedy and audience discussions to explore human connection and self-awareness. Comedy can be a unifying force in our culture and it can also reveal our ingrained biases and unchecked habits. By laughing at ourselves and our antics we can find compassion for our mistakes and see how we can tap into others to learn and grow.

Melissa Bowler

Hi, I’m Melissa Bowler, a communication consultant and teaching artist working with corporations and universities across the United States. I also co-founded Providence Improv Guild (PIG for short), a training center and comedy venue that focuses on giving performers an open stage, teaching improv, and providing work for artists in Rhode Island.

Since 2009, I have traveled across the country with my workshop "Connecting Through Comedy,” a curriculum designed to train professionals in teamwork, open communication, and creative problem solving. “Connecting Through Comedy” won the 2014 Pi Sigma Epsilon Best Practices in Teaching Award. I currently offer my curriculum in three ways: via virtual workshops, in-person sessions, and as a speaking program.

One of my workshops was also the subject of a research project focusing on empathy and stress management in Rhode Island and written about in various medical publications. Journal of Graduate Medical Education, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Rhode Island Medical Journal, General Medicine: Open Access

By combining my passion for comedy with my professional development facilitator experience, I have created an interactive, hilarious, and effective learning experience.

  • I have reached over 5,000 learners through various institutions, companies, and conferences, including Bryant University, Tufts University, and AT&T.

  • I customize my workshops per client needs. My available modules include teamwork, problem solving, empathy, unconscious bias, sales skills, conflict management, and more.

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ATD New England is a partnership between the existing ATD Chapters located in the New England Region.

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